In my review for the new Flotsam And Jetsam album, I referred to Swiss radio station DRS 3 and their metal show that took place in the eighties. Next to Flotsam And Jetsam’s debut the guys also played, next to a lot of good stuff, two Queensryche song from the first EP the Seattle-based band released. I’m not really sure, but if I recall it right it was ‘Nightrider’ and ‘The Lady Wore Black’ that impressed right away.
Simply entitled ‘Queensryche’ the guys from Seattle unleashed a rocket with this 12″. Four songs are spread out over the two sides and each of these tracks became a classic in US Metal.
The joy starts with ‘Queen of the Reich’, a terrific anthem, built on a powerful riff and Geoff Tate’s unique voice that became a trademark of the band for many years. Next to the high pitch vocals, it’s the creative guitar duo DeGarmo/Wilton that signs responsible for the typical Queensryche sound, music that couldn’t get alive without the hard pushing rhythm section by Eddie Jackson and Scott Rockenfield.
The second track on the A-side is ‘Nightrider’, which can easily compete with the opener. Tate’s scream is the kickstart for this uptempo hymn, which another metal blast the quintet launches before it’s time to move on to side 2.
‘Blinded’ is next and it’s a great song on this EP too, but it’s the epic ‘The Lady Wore Black’ that shows the entire creativity of these five guys from the Westcoast. It’s the cinematic beginning with Tate’s unplanned whistling and some first guitars that sets the scene for one of the best songs Queensryche ever wrote. The tune slowly builds up along the way and it’s amazing how much emotion is weaved into this timeless classic.
‘Queensryche’ was the furious start into a metallic journey that led the band to huge success and deep valleys of frustration and regrouping. It’s a great fact that Queensryche re-energized over the last years and is back, releasing great albums. However, the early days stay untouched and this EP clearly shows why the band belongs to the influencial spearhead of progressive Power Metal.
- Queen of the Reich
- The Lady Wore Black
Genre: US Metal
Release Date: September 1983